steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Monkey Power Trio

"Almost Clear" 7"

Pocahontas Swamp Machine Records

Genres: lo-fi, experimental pop

Nov 17 - 23 2003

The Monkey Power Trio is a group of five individuals from Ypsilanti "who have vowed to meet and make music one afternoon a year until the last member is dead."  What a gimmick!  Almost Clear is the fruits of their eighth year's meeting, and this time around they've come up with a clear, seven-inch record with some really neat DIY packaging based around the theme of clarity.

As far as the music goes, well, it's very bizarre.  Goofy, nasal vocals are laid over silly, elaborate instrumental backgrounds.  It's hardly pop, although that's the best way to describe it.  Side A is host to two songs, the most notable of which is "Mike Smith Sucks," which starts off with a spelling bee excerpt (spell "priapism" ha ha ha) and then dives right into wacky, Captain Beefheart influenced pseudo-pop.

Side B, boasting the title track and "Systematic Problem," is even more kooky.  The first track is a spoken word voiceover set on top of some psych-y guitar doodling, while the second is a messed up piece of broken toy pop.

This 7" is a weird but oddly captivating glimpse into the world of the five man Trio.  And hey, I'm a sucker for vinyl.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 4 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]